In its April 11 article, "Podcasts: Is Anybody Listening?" eMarketer picked up nicely on the firestorm raised by Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li's latest metrics on current and future usage of podcasts.
A lot of smart money has bet on podcasting, and I've met few people who don't find the idea appealing. However, the question raised by Charlene's research can't be ignored. Interesting as it is, will people actually do it?
To me, this is like 1998 all over again, when pundits were suggesting that we'd all be watching episodes of Seinfeld on our Web-enabled computers. For a while, it seemed inevitable. A few years later, the idea seemed outright dumb. But look at us today, with Disney, AOL and others posting countless TV shows on the Web. Although adoption of this latest round of TV-on-the-Web is still low, I think the lesson here is clear: if a new media idea sounds interesting, it will probably drive real adoption over time -- just don't try to predict how that adoption will work because you'll probably be wrong.
P.S. Yes, I've tried podcasts on my iPod/iTunes and no, I don't listen to them anymore.